Thomas Cook sets up Chinese agency
Thomas Cook Group, Europe’s second-biggest tour operator, has set up a high-end Chinese travel agency with minority shareholder Fosun International in a bid to capture a more lucrative slice of China’s booming vacation market, Bloomberg reported.
The agency will sell overseas holidays to the wealthiest 20 percent of Chinese travelers, and guide them beyond Europe’s obvious destinations, aiming to make China a “substantial” part of Thomas Cook’s business, chief executive officer Peter Fankhauser said in an interview in Shanghai.
The companies are betting that China’s outbound tourism market – the largest in the world – can help drive growth in Europe, where travel has been depressed by recent terror attacks and the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.
Fosun, a unit of a Shanghai-based conglomerate backed by billionaire Guo Guangchang, said it expects the number of Chinese travelling outside the country to grow by as much as 20 percent annually.